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This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence

, 2009
ISBN: 9781433507137

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Reflecting on over 40 years of matrimony, John Piper exalts the biblical meaning of marriage over its emotion, exhorting couples to keep their covenant as a display of Christ’s covenant-keeping love for the church. He aims to lift the church’s low view of marriage to something infinitely greater, namely, a vision of Jesus’ unswerving allegiance to and affection for his bride. This Momentary Marriage unpacks the biblical vision, its unexpected contours, and its weighty implications for married, single, divorced, and remarried alike.

Interested in more? Check out the Crossway John Piper Collection (39 vols.).

Resource Experts
  • Personal story that speaks to a divine purpose for marriage
  • Christ’s connection to his church is highlighted
  • A counter-cultural presentation that edifies readers
  • Foreword: Pendulums and Pictures by Noël Piper
  • Introduction: Marriage and Martyrdom
  • Staying Married Is Not Mainly about Staying in Love
  • Naked and Not Ashamed
  • God’s Showcase of Covenant-Keeping Grace
  • Forgiving and Forbearing
  • Pursuing Conformity to Christ in the Covenant
  • Lionhearted and Lamblike—The Christian Husband as Head: Foundations of Headship
  • Lionhearted and Lamblike—The Christian Husband as Head: What Does It Mean to Lead?
  • The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission
  • Single in Christ: A Name Better Than Sons and Daughters
  • Singleness, Marriage, and the Christian Virtue of Hospitality
  • Faith and Sex in Marriage
  • Marriage Is Meant for Making Children . . . Disciples of Jesus: How Absolute Is the Duty to Procreate?
  • Marriage Is Meant for Making Children . . . Disciples of Jesus: The Conquest of Anger in Father and Child
  • What God Has Joined Together, Let Not Man Separate: The Gospel and the Radical New Obedience
  • What God Has Joined Together, Let Not Man Separate: The Gospel and the Divorced
  • Conclusion: This Momentary Marriage

Top Highlights

“In other words, marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant commitment to his church.” (Page 24)

“There is no human marriage after death. The shadow of covenant-keeping between husband and wife gives way to the reality of covenant-keeping between Christ and his glorified Church. Nothing is lost. The music of every pleasure is transposed into an infinitely higher key.” (Pages 14–15)

“Why then the shame? Because the foundation of covenant-keeping love collapsed. And with it the sweet, all-trusting security of marriage disappeared forever.” (Page 35)

“The meaning of marriage is the display of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people.” (Page 15)

“The very essence of this new covenant is that Christ passes over the sins of his bride. His bride is free from shame not because she is perfect, but because she has no fear that her lover will condemn her or shame her because of her sin.” (Pages 33–34)

Theologically, this book exalts human marriage as a metaphor for the ultimate love story in Christ. Practically, it applies that glorious vision of grace to our daily experiences in marriage, singleness, parenthood, and the most universal of human realities—sin. This book opens our eyes and guides our feet with the grace of Christ.

—Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., lead pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, TN

John Piper

John Piper (b. 1946) is a widely respected theologian and bestselling author who serves as founder and lead teacher at Desiring God and is chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, Piper served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. He has authored more than 50 books, and more than 30 years of his preaching and writing are available free of charge at desiringGod.org. Piper resides in the Minneapolis area with his wife of 51 years, and has five children and 14 grandchildren.

Piper attended Wheaton College where he majored in literature and minored in philosophy. He completed his Bachelor of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he studied under Dr. Daniel Fuller. Piper received his Doctorate in Theology from the University of Munich and taught biblical studies for six years at Bethel College.

In 1994, Piper founded Desiring God Ministries, which provides Piper’s sermons, articles, and information on titles he has authored. One of his bestsellers, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, prompted the name of the ministry.

Several of Piper’s books have been Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Christian book award winners including What Jesus Demands from the World, Pierced by the Word, and God’s Passion for His Glory. The Crossway John Piper Collection (39 vols.) includes 39 titles from Piper, including Love Your Enemies and A Hunger for God. His preaching ministry of more than 30 years is available in the John Piper Sermon Archive (1980–2014).

Hear how Piper uses Logos for his Bible Study.


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Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!


Digital list price: $12.99
Regular price: $9.99
Save $2.50 (25%)